From traveling the world to launching a beauty brand, Ananth and Shobana have always had a shared love for adventure and new experiences. The couple were introduced by their families. Shobana was finishing up her residency training in Pittsburgh, PA, while Ananth was working in the Bay Area. The initial courtship was long distance and over the phone, but once they could be together in person, the sparks flew immediately says Ananth. “We first met in person at my apartment in California. On our very first date, we knew we were made for each other, it was love at first sight. We canceled our respective weekend plans and spent the weekend exploring San Francisco together. We discovered our mutual love for travel, food, music and light-hearted humor.”
Both born in Chennai, India. Ananth came to the United States for graduate studies in electrical engineering at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN. After graduation, he moved to the Bay Area in 2001 to work for a Fortune 500 medical device manufacturer, Stryker, as an R&D Engineer. After more than 20 years in healthcare technology, he is currently the Senior Vice President & GM at Teladoc.
Shobana completed her medical degree and Residency in Family Medicine at West Penn Allegheny Health System, Pittsburgh, PA and moved to California for her career. She currently works for John Muir Health as a Family Physician in San Ramon.
Inspired by her travels and love for nature, Shobana launched her own award-winning beauty brand – Raaka’s World. “The brand was launched in October 2021 and has already won the Beauty Shortlist Editor’s choice awards for all the products that I personally formulated,” shares Shobana. “Raaka’s World offers haircare and skincare sourced from across the globe. The ingredients reflect my belief of living closer to nature. From the Amazonian forests to the vast landscapes of Africa, all the way to India, I’ve selected only the best ingredients. I am thrilled to have landed my first retailer earlier this year, beautyologie.com. Further, my Flourish Scalp Serum has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Cosmetics & Toiletries Alle Awards.”
Two kids complete the family; their daughter, Tejasvi, is 9 years old and in fourth grade and son, Nandan, is 8 years old and in third grade. Both children attend Quarry Lane School. “Tejasvi enjoys all her subjects, but gets tremendous joy from drawing and painting. Nandan loves sciences, especially anything related to animals, and can tell obscure facts about animals including accurate names of dinosaurs just by looking at their pictures,” shares Shobana. Both kids learn Shaolin Kungfu.
A love of travel and adventure has kept the couple bonded through the years. “Both of us love world travel, and our love for adventure and exploration has brought us to various interesting countries and places including Tanzania, Zanzibar, Peru, Nepal, Costa Rica, Bhutan, Alaska, India, England, Hawaii, France, Continental USA, and Mexico. Ananth’s job has also taken him to Romania, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, China, Hong Kong, and Netherlands. We have dragged our kids on our crazy vacations. One summer we explored the ruins of Machu Picchu when our kids were young. On another vacation, we did a 3000ft altitude hike up to Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan, partly carrying our young kids on our backs. In that crazy 3-week trip, we had to change 22 flights to the point where our kids memorized the safety instructions from the flight attendants and re-enact them for us,” says Shobana.
In addition to travel, Ananth enjoys learning Shaolin Kungfu and photography. He also recently rekindled a love of volleyball with some good friends. Shobana is a trained Bharatnatyam (Indian Classical Dance) dancer and still practices and performs through the school she attends.
Three goldfish keep the family entertained at home. “We have three goldfish as pets. Oreo is a Blackmoor and is a crowd pleaser, Cream is a Ranchu and is the tank joker doing silly swimming, and Cookie is a Fan Tail, the elegant orange golden,” says Ananth.
Celebrating their one-year Blackhawk anniversary this December, the family moved in near the East Gate and say they love calling Blackhawk home. “We have lived in the South Bay, North Bay and in Dublin. We recently decided to move to Danville and fell in love with the Blackhawk community and our new home. When we took our first step through the front door, we knew that this was meant to be our home. We told our realtor as much even before fully touring the home. Even though we have been here only a short time, we have been able to make some wonderful friends. The feel we get is that this is a very welcoming community, and we are looking forward to meeting more neighbors in person and hosting neighborhood parties at our place.”
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By Megan Scott, Resident since 2010
Images courtesy of the family